Randy Moss Says His Time With 49ers Is Over

Wide receiver Randy Moss said his time with the San Francisco 49ers has come to an end.“Wished we could’ve finished the job!! Thanks for the opportunity an good luck in the future 9ers,” Moss tweeted Saturday evening.There was no specific reason of given for why the 49ers did not wish to retain the services of the future Hall of Famer, but comments made by Moss before the Super Bowl may have added to the organizations decision to go their separate ways.Moss said then that he was dissatisfied with his role on the team.“I don’t like my role. I don’t,” Moss said. “I like to be out there playing football.”San Francisco general manager Trent Baalke gave a slight hint during the NFL Combine that the team had already reached a conclusion about Moss not returning to the team for the 2013 season.“We’re certainly happy that he was in [in San Francisco],” Baalke responded when he was asked about Moss’ future with the team. “Is he going to return this? I don’t know that yet.”Apparently, the 36-year-old Moss, who signed a one-year deal with the 49ers last March after returning from a one-year retirement, received word that he will not be back.Moss played in all 16 games and 28 receptions for 434 yards and three touchdowns in the regular season, making two starts. In the 49ers Super Bowl loss to the Ravens, he caught two passes for 41 yards.Despite Moss and the San Francisco parting ways, he told some of his 49ers teammates that he still can play at a high level, according to CBSSports.com.Moss had become a fixture in the 49ers locker room, even for starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick.“He was great to me,” Kaapernick said in an interview with the NFL Network on Feb. 28. “He made sure I knew what the defense was doing. He was someone that helped me a great deal and I hope he’s back with us.”Now that it is clear that Moss will not return, he will hit the free agent market on March 12, with the hopes of finding a suitor.Moss will be looking to add to his 982 catches for 15,292 yards and 156 touchdowns, but hopefully with a Super Bowl contender. read more

Read More »

The Mets Pitching Staff Went From Great To Garbage In The Blink

To say it’s been a challenging season in Queens would be an understatement. Originally slated to contend for the NL East crown, the 2017 New York Mets currently sit in a tie for third place, 7 games below .500 and a whopping 11 games back of the first-place Washington Nationals. The team has been accompanied by a near-constant stream of off-the-field controversies, and its playoff chances are rapidly approaching zero. Even the club’s jolly anthropomorphized baseball has turned belligerent.At the core of New York’s on-field frustrations has been the performance of its pitching staff, which not so long ago was gracing Sports Illustrated covers and inspiring meditations about the ideal way to build a modern baseball team. The fireballing days of Noah Syndergaard — who hit the disabled list with a torn muscle in early May — and cohorts are a distant memory, and those stars have been replaced by fill-ins who barely register on the radar gun and a beleaguered bullpen asked to shoulder a historic workload. (In their latest outing, the Mets burned through five pitchers — a normal amount by the team’s recent standards — just to yield 11 runs against the Pirates.)Just how much of a pitching drop-off have the Mets endured this year? Last season, New York led all clubs in the wins above replacement (WAR)1I’m averaging together the versions of this stat found at Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs.com. it received from its pitchers, with the 39th-best tally any team had in a season since 1901. This season, they rank sixth to last in baseball in pitching WAR, putting them on pace for the team’s worst showing on the mound since 1996. On a per-162-game basis, that makes for the fifth-biggest year-to-year decline by any MLB pitching staff since 1901: YEARTEAMSEASONPREVIOUS SEASONDIFFERENCE 41915Athletics-4.713.9-18.6 82000Astros9.024.3-15.4 71997Padres6.522.2-15.7 Some of the teams ahead of the Mets on that list had their excuses: The 2004 Diamondbacks traded Curt Schilling to the Red Sox over the previous offseason, and the 1998 Marlins engaged in one of the most notorious talent dumps in baseball history.The Mets made no such trades. The rotation’s lone offseason departure was 44-year-old Bartolo Colon, a loss that seemed more than mitigated by the late-season emergence of Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo, plus the return of a healthy Zack Wheeler. If anything, the team appeared to have more pitching than it knew what to do with. Even after adjusting for the inevitability of injuries, it seemed unthinkable back in spring training that New York’s pitching would be only a tad better than that of, say, the ghastly Cincinnati Reds.But the notion of the Mets having “too much pitching” sounds absurd in hindsight. After injuries to Syndergaard, Lugo, Steven Matz and closer Jeurys Familia,2Matz and Lugo haven’t pitched a single game this season. to go with an underperforming campaign by Matt Harvey, the Mets are on track to get about 13 fewer WAR from their staff this season than what was conservatively expected in spring training. (Even after accounting for what has been a surprisingly decent offense, that would make this the sixth-most-disappointing season in Mets history in terms of actual team WAR delivered compared to preseason expectations, and the worst in that department since 2003.3Interestingly, the statistical list of New York’s most disappointing seasons — 1972, then 1992, 2003, 1991, 1977 and 2017 — matches up very well with this subjective list generated by celebrated Mets blogger Jason Fry.)For a team predicated on great pitching and just enough hitting to get by, it’s hard to win when the former ends up being worse than the latter. And although the Mets’ numbers could improve when they get some of their injured pitchers back, it probably won’t be enough to save the team’s fortunes this season.The extent to which any of this was preventable — and, if it was, who should be blamed for it — will be debated for years. The team’s training staff is a popular target, but my colleague Rob Arthur found that although the Mets have had more than their share of ailments, they’re hardly the league’s most snakebit team on the injury front. It’s even worth wondering, as New York Magazine’s Will Leitch does here, whether the DL was the inevitable destination for a group of hurlers built specifically to throw the ball just about as hard as any staff ever has. Either way, they always say that young pitchers will break your heart — and these Mets couldn’t embody that axiom more if they tried. Sources: Baseball-Reference.com, Fangraphs.com, chadwick-bureau.com 11968Reds6.827.2-20.4 62012Phillies16.532.7-16.2 101982Twins0.315.0-14.8 91957Indians10.225.3-15.1 Few pitching staffs have ever collapsed like the 2017 Mets PITCHING WAR PER 162 GAMES 22004Diamondbacks8.226.9-18.7 31998Marlins-2.516.1-18.7 52017Mets6.224.6-18.3 read more

Read More »

Field hockey Ohio State begins weekend of nonconference play victorious against the

OSU sophomore midfield Morgan Kile (8) carries the ball for the on Oct. 2 against Maryland at Buckeye Varsity Field. Credit: Lantern file photoOhio State field hockey welcomed the Kent State Golden Flashes to Columbus, which had a couple flashes of its own at game time, Friday. The match scheduled for 3:30 p.m. was delayed by an hour due to multiple sightings of lightning in the area. However, in the late stages of the game, the Buckeye defense stayed grounded.OSU was able to hold off the Kent State Golden Flashes in the final minutes of a closely contested match; finishing on top, 3-2.Since beginning its run in Big Ten play this season, OSU (4-7, 0-3) had lost four straight matches before its match against Kent State. The Buckeyes came into the game knowing they had something to prove.The match did not start out in OSU’s favor, as Kent State pulled out three shots on goal within the first seven minutes of game play. That quickly changed after freshman midfielder Esther Clotet Alsina and junior midfielder Maddy Humphrey tag-teamed together on a breakaway goal.For Humphrey, that goal marked her team-leading eighth goal of the season.Kent State continued to put the pressure on OSU with a total of nine shots in the first half. This was largely due to to the four penalty corners given up by the Buckeyes. However, junior goalkeeper Liz Tamburro welcomed the challenge and kept a zero on the board through one half. Tamburro finished the half with five saves before adding four more in the second. For the second time in the last three games, she made nine or more saves.After the second half commenced, the dynamic duo of Clotet Alsina and Humphrey was back at it again; but this time with the roles reversed. Humphrey assisted Clotet Alsina with a close range score against senior goalkeeper Andrea Rinehart.Clotet Alsina now has one point in six of 11 games and has multiple points in five matches.Sophomore Irene Fritschy earned her first career goal with the Buckeyes with 17:20 remaining in the contest. Her goal pushed the lead to 3-0.However, Kent State would not go away quietly in the final moments of the game. After nine penalty corners, junior midfielder Silvia Figa Malgosa gave the Golden Flashes their first point of the night with 6:49 still on the clock.Kent State put another point on the board with only 2:49; closing OSU’s lead to only one. But as the clock ran out, the Buckeyes emerged victorious and broke their losing streak. OSU has now won five of the last six meetings against Kent State. The Buckeyes finish their non-conference break against Ball State (4-6) on Monday. OSU has not lost to the Cardinals since 2007 and have won 15 of the last 17 contests.OSU is set to travel to Schumann Stadium to face the Cardinals at 3 p.m. read more

Read More »

Cameron Heyward cant sneak and see where hell be selected in the

There are several Ohio State Buckeyes who have a chance to be drafted in the 2011 NFL draft — but, realistically, only one can expect to be drafted in the first round tonight: Cameron Heyward. Because of last year’s format change, the draft will take place over three days, with the first round set to begin at 8 p.m., the second and third rounds Friday and the remaining rounds Saturday. This year’s draft takes place during a complicated legal battle between the NFL Players Association and the NFL owners, in which the future of the NFL is still in question. While the U.S. District Court ruled in favor of the players Monday, the outlook for the 2011 season is still questionable. The day before what some consider the biggest night of his life, Heyward tweeted from his Twitter account, @camheyward, about his excitement for the day. “Day before Christmas!! only problem is there no way to sneak and see what I got for tomorrow lol,” Heyward tweeted at about 1 p.m. Wednesday. Heyward, who is rated No. 29 on Scout Inc.’s top 32, is projected by many draft analysts to be a late first-round pick. A dominating force on the Buckeyes’ defensive line, Heyward said he would be spending the draft weekend at his house in Atlanta. “I would like to just stay at home with my family. … I want to be around my family and friends that have helped me accomplish so much so far, and share the moment with them as well,” Heyward said March 30 after a workout. In his latest mock draft April 6, ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. projected that Heyward will be drafted by the New York Jets with the 30th pick in the first round. Heyward said he does not care which team drafts him. “Whatever team that takes me, I think I can play any position you put me at,” Heyward said March 30. The New York Jets have two former OSU players on their starting roster, wide reciever Santonio Holmes and center Nick Mangold. Mangold was drafted by the Jets in 2006, and Holmes, drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the same year, was acquired by the Jets through a trade with the Steelers in 2010. In 2008, the Jets drafted Vernon Gholston, also a former OSU defensive end. Many consider Gholston a major bust for the Jets. The Jets took Gholston with the sixth overall pick in the draft that year. Gholston was expected by many to start, but he rarely saw much playing time outside of special teams. In his three years on the team, Gholston recorded just 42 tackles and zero sacks, after which the Jets released him at the beginning of March. Heyward spoke about Gholston at the NFL combine. “We’re two totally different players. Vern, they had him dropping at linebacker. … Me, I can play all over the line,” Heyward said. “We are two different players. We had the privilege of going to The Ohio State, but we’re not the same player. I’m never going to compare myself to him, and I don’t think he’ll ever do the same.” NFL.com draft analyst Brian Baldinger projects that Heyward will not be available when the Jets’ 30th pick rolls around. Baldinger projects Heyward to be drafted by the New England Patriots with the 17th pick. The Patriots possess two picks in the first round of this year’s draft, and NFL.com draft analysts Steve Wyche and Pat Kirwan project Heyward will be selected by the Patriots with their second pick of the first round, 28th overall. Whichever team selects Heyward will be investing in a 6-foot-5 defensive force. Heyward has proven he has the ability to clog up the line and dominate against the run. In his four years at OSU, Heyward recorded 15.5 sacks and 37.5 tackles for loss. Weighing in at 295 pounds, Heyward will try to continue the legacy of his late father, former NFL running back Craig “Ironhead” Heyward. Cameron was present on the sidelines during OSU’s Spring Game on Saturday, and said he was excited for the draft. “(I’m) just waiting right now and continuing to work out,” he said, “and just looking to hear my name.” read more

Read More »

Commentary Ohio State mens basketballs affinity for defense keeping Final Four dreams

Hey, you! Yes, you, right there, Joe/Jane Buckeye fan. You go here because of the football team, right? I know, I know, we all do. It’s OK. School is secondary. And, let me guess, since you go to Ohio State because of Buckeye football, you probably have a special affinity for defense. Brutal, violent, aggressive, stingy defense. Beautiful defense. And, let me surmise, you look at the basketball team, with its inconsistent offense and those four losses and think: “Hey, it’s only, like, eight months until Urban Meyer unleashes his freshly non-bowl banned OSU football team on the rest of the country.” Stop it right now. It’s not August yet. It’s basketball season. It’s Big Ten basketball season. And your Buckeyes are playing a brand of basketball I know you can appreciate. They’re playing basketball with a football mentality. They’re playing brutal, violent, aggressive, stingy defense. Beautiful defense. Football defense. Jared Sullinger is gone. William Buford is gone. The Buckeyes’ elite offensive abilities are gone too, and it’s showing. Against elite teams, OSU’s offense has sputtered for long stretches. The Buckeyes have made 3-point shooting look as difficult as solving a Rubik’s cube in less than 30 seconds (if only junior guard Aaron Craft could do the former as well as the latter) and they lack a go-to second scorer (Craft? Sophomore forward LaQuinton Ross? Junior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr.? Brutus Buckeye?) behind the offensive genius that is junior forward Deshaun Thomas. Where would OSU be without Thomas? Hint: somewhere losing a lot of games by 20.5 points. But guess what? It doesn’t matter that OSU is trying to set offensive basketball back to the peach basket days of Dr. James Naismith, the game’s creator. The team’s defense is good. Like, Final Four good. Don’t give up on them. Craft is and has been the NCAA’s preeminent perimeter defender since he stepped on campus in 2010. He smothers guards. His scalp list the last three years reads like a “Who’s Who” of college basketball: Trey Burke, Jordan Taylor, Dion Waiters, Scoop Jardine, Tyshawn Taylor, Brandon Knight, Seth Curry, Erving Walker and the list goes on. Point blank, he’s OSU redshirt sophomore cornerback Bradley Roby in sneakers. His competitors know by pregame they’re going to wear a Craft coat for the next 40 minutes. Craft’s partner-in-crime, sophomore guard Shannon Scott, averages a hair under two steals per game and plays passing lanes like a seasoned veteran. Smith Jr., is a hulking 6-foot-4 menace who can physically overpower smaller foes. Sophomore forward Sam Thompson is a weak-side shot-blocking terror with staggering athleticism and a 476-foot vertical leap (approximately). If someone manages to penetrate the lane against OSU’s guards, 6-foot-11 sophomore center Amir Williams lurks in the paint ready to send any shot all the way back to his hometown in Detroit. Any way you slice it, the Buckeyes’ top-20 scoring defense (out of 345 teams) gives them a chance to win any game, despite the offense’s struggles. Hmmm, actually that sounds familiar. Wait, are we sure Jim Tressel isn’t coaching basketball? Don’t write off this season just yet. Sure, the offense might not be Sweet 16 worthy (or outside of Thomas, even RPAC worthy) but the defense is Final Four caliber. It might not be pretty, but the basketball Buckeyes are taking a page out of Woody Hayes’ playbook and embracing a new, defense-first identity. As football fans, it shouldn’t be hard for us to do the same. read more

Read More »

Ohio State womens volleyball splits weekend matches against Illinois and Northwestern

Senior outside hitter Kaitlyn Leary (11) gets set before a serve during a match against Illinois Nov. 22 at St. John Arena. OSU lost, 3-1.Credit: Tim Moody / Lantern reporterStill fighting to grasp a semblance of tournament life, the Ohio State women’s volleyball team picked up a much-needed win against Northwestern, after falling to Illinois one night before.The Buckeyes (17-13, 5-13) topped Northwestern (16-14, 8-10), 3-0, Saturday in a late-night match.First serve was pushed back from 7 to 8:30 p.m. because a 3:30 p.m. kickoff for Ohio State’s football team.Senior defensive specialist Julianne Mandolfo said her team came in knowing it needed at least one win over the weekend, and hoping to redeem themselves against the Wildcats.“(Northwestern) beat us when we went there and we were extremely frustrated,” she said of the Oct. 16 match. “So we came in here and we weren’t going to let them play with us.”OSU jumped out to a 20-14 lead in the first set and never looked back, eventually winning 25-16. Senior outside hitter Kaitlyn Leary led the way with 7 kills and just 1 error in the opening period.From there, the Buckeyes went up, 7-2, in the second before the Wildcats pushed back. The Scarlet and Gray were eventually able to pull out a 26-24 win.After that, OSU fell behind, 7-3, early in the third, but fought back to take a 12-11 lead. The Buckeyes eventually finished off the sweep, 25-18.“It was a great start to finish match,” coach Geoff Carlston said. “The kids did the game plan perfectly. It’s exactly how we drew it up, exactly how we wanted to play.”Leary posted 23 kills on the night to lead the way as the Buckeyes finished with a .298 attacking percentage as a team, compared to the Wildcats’ .148. Sophomore outside hitter Katie Mitchell added 10 kills while junior setter Taylor Sherwin had a match-high 46 assists.“(Sherwin) put me in really good situations with their setter being up,” Leary said. “She kept giving me the ball and setting me where I needed to be set.“She did a really good job this weekend.”The victory against Northwestern came on the heels of a Senior Night loss to No. 20 Illinois Friday. OSU came out playing well, but eventually fell 20-25 in the first set. The Buckeyes followed that up with a 25-17 victory in the second, but could not hold the momentum as they dropped the final two sets (21-25, 20-25).Leary led all players with 16 kills, finishing the match with a .324 attacking percentage, while freshman middle blocker Taylor Sandbothe and junior outside hitter Erin Sekinger each tallied 13 kills.Carlston employed a two-setter approach against Illinois, as Sherwin tallied 27 assists and freshman setter Maggie Heim added 23. Mandolfo led all players with 26 digs.After the match, OSU’s three , Leary, Mandolfo and libero Davionna DiSalvatore were honored during Senior Night festivities.Even though the team lost on Senior Night, Mandolfo said it felt good to get at least one win out of the weekend.The three seniors will have one more chance to play in St. John Arena, though. OSU is scheduled to wrap up its home schedule Wednesday against No. 2 Penn State. The Buckeyes are set to travel to Iowa City, Iowa, after their date with the Nittany Lions for their regular-season finale against Iowa Saturday. read more

Read More »

Ohio State womens basketball returns from abroad to face Pittsburgh

Freshman guard Kelsey Mitchell (3) drives the lane during a game against VCU on Nov. 23 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 96-86.Credit: Nina Budieri / Lantern photographerComing off its trip to the Virgin Islands, the Ohio State women’s basketball team is set to return home on Wednesday to face Pittsburgh.The Buckeyes are 4-3 overall after going 2-1 in the Paradise Jam tournament last week. Freshman guard Asia Doss said she was satisfied with the team’s performance in the tournament but still sees room for improvement.“I think we all did pretty good,” Doss said. “We still have areas to get better, but I think we did well as a team.”Doss said one of the highlights of the trip came in the final game of the tournament against Florida Gulf Coast on Saturday. OSU made a comeback at the end of the second half and eventually won the game in double overtime.“The third game (against Florida Gulf Coast) I think showed that we can fight through adversity,” Doss said. “We all came together as a team.”The Buckeyes hope to take the experience from playing in the tournament and apply it on the court against Pittsburgh. Coach Kevin McGuff noted that OSU shares similarities with the Panthers.“They’re a little bit like us,” McGuff said. “They have some young kids so they have some up and down moments but I think they’re pretty good.”Heading into the game, freshman guard Kelsey Mitchell leads OSU in scoring, averaging 27 points per game, and was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week on Monday. McGuff praised Mitchell for her ability to adapt at the collegiate level.“She has really good instincts and feel for the game,” McGuff said. “I think that’s important because it’s a faster game in college than you’re used to, you’re seeing better defenses, so you have to have high IQ and good instincts to adjust quickly to that.”Another key for the Buckeyes will be the play of freshman forward Alexa Hart. Hart recorded a season-high 20 points and 18 rebounds in the win against Florida Gulf Coast. Mitchell, who played AAU basketball with Hart, said she and Hart are on the same page when on the court.“Our chemistry is really there,” Mitchell said. “When I know she’s playing and she’s ready to go, she’s ready to go.”The Buckeyes might be without redshirt-sophomore forward Kalpana Beach for the time being. Beach suffered a leg injury during the Paradise Jam tournament and is listed as day-to-day. McGuff said Beach didn’t suffer structural damage and her status for the game is unknown.Beach missed each of the past two seasons with ACL injuries.OSU is scheduled to play the Panthers at 7 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center. read more

Read More »

Football Looking ahead to Ohio States seasondefining matchup against Penn State

OSU then-freshman defensive end Nick Bosa (97) and other dejected Buckeyes return to the locker room after their 24-21 loss against Penn State on Oct. 22. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Former Photo EditorBoth No. 6 Ohio State (6-1, 4-0 Big Ten) and No. 2 Penn State (7-0, 4-0 Big Ten) will head to Ohio Stadium at 3:30 p.m. Saturday for their biggest respective challenges to date. With major playoff implications on the line, this matchup will be what defines the remainder of the season for both teams. Here is a preview of the upcoming game. Ohio State offense vs. Penn State defenseWhen most people think about Penn State, they immediately direct their attention to the offense led by Heisman hopeful running back Saquon Barkley and quarterback Trace McSorley. However, a major component of Penn State’s recent success has come in the form of its defense. To this point, the defensive efforts have largely been the product of one of the best secondaries in the nation. Led by two Thorpe Award semifinalists, safety Marcus Allen and cornerback Grant Haley, the Nittany Lions’ secondary is tied for the Big Ten lead with nine interceptions on the year while placing second in the conference with only 167.6 passing yards allowed per game. The defense has allowed only three passing touchdowns all season, none in the past two games. The Buckeyes might not find it much easier to run the ball against Penn State either as the Nittany Lions have allowed opponents an average of just 115.3 yards per game, 17th-fewest in the nation. With a stout defensive front led by defensive ends Shareef Miller and Shaka Toney, Penn State is fourth in the nation with an average of 8.4 tackles for loss and 3.4 sacks per game. Miller has contributed seven tackles for loss and three sacks while Toney has six tackles for loss and 3 1/2 sacks. Perhaps no one on the defensive side of the football stands out more than linebacker Jason Cabinda. The 6-foot-1, 234-pound senior paces the team in total tackles (53), has forced and recovered a fumble and has recorded four sacks and two tackles for loss.Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer spoke about how much of a challenge the defensive front presents Ohio State and did not originally single out any one player in particular, but he made sure to praise the standout linebacker of the Nittany Lions.“The one guy that steps up big time is [Cabinda],” Meyer said on the Big Ten coaches teleconference Tuesday. “You see him all over the place. But to say one D-lineman is better than the other, I can’t do that. I just think they’re well coached and go extremely hard.”This will be the most potent offense Penn State faces this season, but at the same time, this will be the most talented defense the Buckeyes have faced to this point. Ohio State is ranked No. 12 in passing offense (326.7 yards per game) and No. 18 in rushing offense (250.6 yards per game), and has seemed to be hitting its stride as of late, outscoring opponents 266-56 over its last five games. The Buckeyes’ passing attack is unlike those that Nittany Lions have faced this season. It is an offense that derives most of its success from shorter passes and relying on blocking rather than beating the defenders downfield. Still, neither the Penn State defense nor the Ohio State offense have been sufficiently tested this season, with the exception of Week 2 when the Buckeyes mustered only 16 points against Oklahoma. Ohio State defense vs. Penn State offensePenn State’s offense features so many potent weapons, it’s often tough to keep track of them all. Head coach James Franklin’s team has the nation’s best running back in Barkley, a mammoth tight end in Mike Gesicki, who creates all sorts of matchup issues, and a dual-threat quarterback in McSorley, who can make plays with his arm and his legs.Barkley has been a weapon for Penn State in all areas of the game. The junior running back has a passing touchdown, eight rushing touchdowns, three receiving touchdowns and returned a kickoff for a touchdown. He leads the nation in all-purpose yards with 1,478, as he is Penn State’s leading rusher, receiver and primary kickoff returner. Junior linebacker Jerome Baker, who could be asked to defend Barkley one-on-one in the passing game, said Barkley is a fun player to watch, and he is excited for the challenge of possibly stopping stop the Heisman favorite Saturday.“The dude’s a monster. He’s a good back. I just like watching him, honestly,” Baker said Tuesday. “Very excited to go against him because he can do it all. Pass block, run routes, he can definitely run the ball, jump over you, run through you. I’m excited.”Despite the big-name playmakers on the roster, Penn State’s offensive statistics don’t jump out on the page. The Nittany Lions average only 173.4 rushing yards per game (54th in the nation) and 289.9 passing yards per game (25th), both falling short of the numbers Ohio State has this season despite Penn State being heralded as one of the best offenses in the nation and Ohio State as one that has struggled. Overall, Ohio State is tied for the most points scored per game (47.3) while Penn State is only at 16th with 40. While some of that will likely be chalked up to strength of schedule, Ohio State has been ranked as the 15th-toughest schedule to date while Penn State is only at 18th, according to Team Rankings.The struggles for the offense have most likely come from the one surprising weak spot for the Nittany Lions: the offensive line. Entering the year with lofty expectations as a strong, veteran core of players, the group has not done an effective job protecting McSorley. The unit has allowed the 35th-most sacks per game in the nation (2.57) and has surrendered the sixth-most tackles for loss (8.14).This offensive line will be forced to step up in a big way against a defensive line that has turned offensive linemen into revolving doors all season long. Ohio State averages the 32nd-most sacks per game (2.57) and fifth-most tackles for loss (8.3). What should be an area of concern for Penn State is the fact the Buckeyes’ defensive line is fresh, coming off a bye week following five weeks where each starter was out before the fourth quarter. Not to mention enough depth to allow for essentially four starters at every position.Redshirt senior defensive end Tyquan Lewis said at this point in the season, he feels well-rested and ready for what will be his team’s most important game this season.“I think the most plays I’ve played all year, so far, well since Oklahoma, it’s probably like 30, 33, something like that,” Lewis said Tuesday. “It’s been kind of low since then. But it’s just you feel fresh, it’s a lot of reps off your body. Now it’s the meat of the season with a stretch, so now you know you have to play at least 50 plays.”Penn State’s offense will put up plenty of points, but the play up front could be what separates the Nittany Lions from a win and a loss. The team has plenty of playmakers who can burn the Buckeyes with the ball in their hands, but that will only happen if the line can protect McSorley and provide space for Barkley to break into the secondary. Ohio State’s secondary can be exploited and has been throughout the year when matched up against an above-average passing offense. But if McSorley is pressured in the pocket, it could be more challenging for him to get off the passes needed to beat Ohio State. In this case, the best passing defense might not come from Ohio State’s secondary, but rather on the defensive line. Predictions:Edward Sutelan: Penn State wins 27-24Colin Hass-Hill: Ohio State wins 45-31 read more

Read More »

Football JT Barretts path to the biggest win in his career

Ohio State redshirt senior quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) signals a first down in the fourth quarter of the B1G Championship game against Wisconsin on Dec. 2 in Lucas Oil Stadium. Ohio State won 27-21. Credit: James King II | Sports DirectorINDIANAPOLIS — Staring at a packed defensive line and an empty backfield, Ohio State’s drive hinged on J.T. Barrett. The situation: fourth-and-1 with seven minutes left on Wisconsin’s 13-yard line with Ohio State clinging to a narrow 24-21 lead.Barrett took the snap and rushed right into a defender behind the line of scrimmage. Wisconsin fans in the stands and players began to celebrate, but the play was not over. Barrett pushed on. Leaning on a knee that had surgery just six days ago, he spun free of the defender, bounced to the outside and willed himself to the first-down marker. “That was a very tough call. Offensive line wanted to go for it,” head coach Urban Meyer said. “But we’re up by three. If we do not, that gives them life. I’ve just been on the other side of that ball, all you need is a field goal to tie the game as opposed to you need a touchdown.”Barrett was not fully healthy. The knee that helped him spin out of the defender’s grasp had forced him to leave the team’s last game against Michigan with a knee injury and required surgery the following day. Ohio State redshirt senior quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) crashes in a touchdown in the second quarter of the B1G Championship game against Wisconsin on Dec. 2 in Lucas Oil Stadium. Ohio State won 27-21. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorSix days later, Barrett proved one healthy leg was all he needed to propel the No. 8 Buckeyes to the 27-21 victory in the Big Ten championship game against No. 4 Wisconsin. He finished 12-for-26 for 211 passing yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, while rushing 19 times for 60 yards for one touchdown.After the team’s win against Michigan last week, Barrett said he would be ready to start despite uncertainty expressed by Meyer. He made sure he stayed true to that statement.“I said I was going to play next week,” Barrett said Saturday. “So if I didn’t, I was kind of going to be a liar. And I wouldn’t lie.”Having the arthroscopic surgery the following day was not an option, the quarterback said. It was a requirement.“I really couldn’t straighten my leg out being my meniscus popped out,” Barrett said. “But I mean, it was just a small procedure, really. And then just a lot of treatment. A lot of time in the training room. Tried to do my best to get my mental reps through film and then out there on the field as well so I’d be able to play today.”Barrett spent a minimum of 15 hours with the training staff, Meyer estimated. Meyer said after the surgery, his return was a step-by-step process and that by Thursday, the team knew he would be ready to go. That itself was remarkable considering all he had been through. Meyer said only one other player had come back within a week from that similar surgery and played.But he said there was never any doubt in his mind Barrett would start.“How you keep him out of a game, I just don’t know how it happens,” Meyer said. Redshirt senior center Billy Price said during the week in an effort to alleviate some of the potential pressures put on Barrett’s injury, Barrett spent time watching tape rather than fully participating in the physical warmups of practice. Barrett added that it wasn’t until Friday, the morning the team left for Indianapolis, that he even had any practice running.Ohio State redshirt senior quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) dives for a first down in the fourth quarter of the B1G Championship game against Wisconsin on Dec. 2 in Lucas Oil Stadium. Ohio State won 27-21. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo Editor“I took about half the Thursday reps in practice. And I was mainly throwing the football. Didn’t run at all,” Barrett said. “And then yesterday before we took the bus ride here, I did a whole bunch of cutting and planting on my knee. And I had confidence in my ability to go out there. So it wasn’t like I was second-guessing at all.”When game time rolled around, the uncertainty over Barrett’s ability to start was not in question. But the players and coaches collectively held their breath whenever he would take a big hit.“Whenever he hits the ground, I want to be the first one over there to be, ‘Hey, are you OK? Everything good? Let’s get to the next play,’” Price said. “And I don’t like people hitting him anyway, so it’s an aspect of checking on your man. I mean that’s my dude.”Meyer knew he had backup quarterback Dwayne Haskins, who filled in admirably for Barrett last week against Michigan, at the ready should the need arise.It did not. Though Haskins was seen frequently warming up on the sideline, Barrett maintained his grip on the starting role from the opening snap until when he planted that injured knee on the ground in the victory formation in the game’s final seconds. It appeared early on that his injury was hampering his performance. The dual-threat quarterback appeared to wait in the pocket for receivers to be open down field far more often than normal and his speed appeared just a notch below normal.On his team’s first drive of the game, he escaped the pocket to the left for two yards before being tackled. However, there was plenty of open space and a healthy Barrett likely would have made it closer to, if not all the way, to the first-down marker.But he seemed to turn all questions around fast. In the quest for his first-ever Big Ten title at the helm, Barrett turned things around on his next drive. Junior wide receiver Terry McLaurin caught an 84-yard touchdown pass deep down the field and outran defenders for a touchdown. The next drive, Barrett found H-back Parris Campbell, who hauled in a short pass and took it to the house for the 57-yard score.Ohio State junior wide receiver Terry McLaurin (83) runs the ball in for a touchdown in the first quarter of the B1G Championship game against Wisconsin on Dec. 2 in Lucas Oil Stadium. Ohio State won 27-21. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo Editor“The open pass to start the game to Terry McLaurin was a great pass,” Meyer said. “We caught them in zero hold coverage and it was a big hit. And Parris came out the end of the other bubble. Whenever you play zero hold coverage, if you break your tackle you come out the other end.”Barrett had two other chances to hit wide-open receivers for additional scores in the second quarter when H-back K.J. Hill and wide receiver Johnnie Dixon both found themselves with space behind the Badgers’ defense. Twice, Barrett overshot his intended targets.“We left a lot of yardage on the field,” Meyer said. “We had some misfires in the throw game that were — guys were wide open. But I thought we adjusted fairly good against one of the top defenses in the country. Still had 450 yards of offense, but there was a lot of offense on the field.”Despite the mistakes Barrett made Saturday, he did enough for Ohio State to win the game. He was not the MVP of the game. But Ohio State had several moments when its offensive leader did exactly what was needed.Barrett wanted to start Saturday, but was dealing with an injury. So he willed himself to start. Barrett wanted the first down on that crucial play in the fourth quarter. So he willed himself to the first-down. Barrett wanted the Big Ten championship game. So he willed himself to win. read more

Read More »

Womens Hockey Ohio State rallies for win against St Cloud State

Ohio State freshman forward Emma Maltais (17) heads back out on the ice to start the second period of the game against Minnesota on Jan. 19. Ohio State won 3-2. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Managing Editor for DesignThe No. 4 Ohio State women’s hockey team (8-3, 4-1 WCHA) sent Buckeye fans home happy with the exciting come-from-behind win over the St. Cloud State Huskies (4-7, 2-5 WCHA).Senior forward Madison Field was the playmaker for the Buckeyes on Friday, scoring two goals and giving the Buckeyes the 3-2 win after being down for more than half the game. “Madison’s strong, her area of the ice is right there in that red zone, and that’s the majority of her goal scoring area,” said Ohio State head coach Nadine Muzerall. “That’s where we want her and that’s where we want her to have the puck. She just bears down and out-muscles people and buries it.” In the first period, the game was dominated by Ohio State throughout the first 10 minutes. The Buckeyes led the first period in shots on goal 18-6, and they were controlling the puck for the vast majority of playing time. However, momentum quickly turned in favor of the Huskies when senior forward Julia Tylke snuck one past Ohio State freshman goaltender Andrea Braendli in the first period to give St. Cloud State a 1-0 lead, assisted by sophomore defenseman Taylor Wemple and junior forward Kayla Friesen.“The first goal was our deep inch, and that was OK because we had a recovery from an offensive player,” Muzerall said. “We had a bad habit of swinging on two hands, she did a nice toe drag, and we had to be more disciplined with one hand on our stick. She faked the shot so Andrea went down and wasn’t able to her post in time as the girl wrapped it. Defensively, we should’ve cut her off and not even allowed her to come across.”Riding high off that goal, the Huskies won the next face off and immediately converted it into a second goal off a shot by freshman forward Jenniina Nylund to give them a 2-0 lead. “We lost a battle on the wall and we never should have exposed the middle there,” Muzerall said. “We got to stay in position defensively. They came in on a two on one and we should have had a better gap with our staggered defense in the defensive zone. It was a nice shot though, and Andrea has to do a better job of angling that puck.”The Buckeyes continued their aggressive attack in the second period and missed on several key opportunities. But just over halfway through the second period, it was sophomore forward Emma Maltais putting Ohio State on the board with her fifth goal of the season. “You’re not one of the best players in the WCHA and win player of the month for not being able to score those goals,” Muzerall said. “Sometimes the pressure comes with that, but that is what you need from your big dog and she got us on the board. That was a huge momentum shift for us because it finally just broke that ice of if we were going to score.”With time winding down in the second period at 18:42 into the second period, Field came through with her first goal of the night to tie the game up at two. Maltais and freshman defenseman Madison Bizal came away with assists on the play. Continuing its comeback, Ohio State took the lead for the first time of the night in the third period when Field scored her second goal of the game,her fifth goal on the season, as freshman forward Sara Saekkinen and sophomore forward Liz Scheppers recorded assists on the goal. “It’s always great to get those goals for the team,” Field said. “I think that it was a great team effort leading up to those goals. We had 45 shots on net, so it was just great to bury them. We always don’t want to self-doubt when we’re down in those games we just try and keep pushing.”The Huskies went on the offensive and removed their goalie for an extra attacker with two and a half minutes left to go in the game to try and force overtime, but the Ohio State defense and Braendli held strong to give Ohio State the win. Ohio State will go for the sweep of St. Cloud State in the second game of the weekend series on Saturday, Nov 2 at 3 p.m. read more

Read More »

Mens Basketball Second half surge secures No 15 Ohio States 7371 win

Ohio State sophomore forward Kaleb Wesson (34) dribbles the ball down the court during the second half of the game against Cleveland State on Nov. 23. Ohio State won 89-62. Credit: Amal Saeed | Assistant Photo EditorOhio State seemed to have a comfortable game ahead as the team took the court for the first time since Dec. 5. With 5:09 to go in the first half, the Buckeyes had a 37-25 lead as sophomore forward Kaleb Wesson recorded a team-leading 13 points and six rebounds. Bucknell, who was playing in its first game since Dec. 4, shook off some rust from the start, going on a 15-0 run at the end of the first half, hitting three 3s in that span and taking a 40-39 lead into halftime. Bucknell continued to make it close at the end of the game, bringing the game to within two after junior guard Avi Toomer hit a 3 with 20 seconds left to bring the Bison to within two points. But Ohio State secured its ninth win of the season, forcing the Bison to shoot 30.8 percent in the second half to close out a 73-71 win against Bucknell. Redshirt senior guard Keyshawn Woods knew Bucknell had an affinity for the deep ball, coming into the game with 180 3-point attempts, which was something, especially in the first half, Ohio State was not able to stop. “We knew that going in, but lack of detail on our end as players. Not paying attention enough to stop their runs with the 3s and everything,” Woods said. “Some way, somehow we found a way to win the game.” From the start, Wesson was the main point of attack for an Ohio State offense that did not seem to miss a beat despite its 10-day break. A 6-foot-9, 270-pound forward, more than 30 pounds heavier than any player on the Bison roster, Wesson scored or assisted on each of Ohio State’s first 15 points, beginning the game with three assists on the first three scores. Wesson finished the game with a career-high 22 points, connecting on six for 11 from the field and nine of 10 from the free throw line, with a season-high  rebounds, which ties a career high, recording his first career double-double.Ohio State outrebounded the Bison 39-29 in the 2-point win. Even with the mismatch down low for the Bison, Bucknell found a way to stay in the game, making nine of 17 from 3 in the first half, with senior forward/center Nate Sestina, sophomore forward John Meeks and Toomer combining to make six of nine from deep. And this was something Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann was expecting to see. “They have five guys in their starting lineup that are going to shoot 3s,” Holtmann said. “If they get on a roll and start making 3s, it’s going to be a long night for us.” Ohio State freshman guard Duane Washington tried to integrate that aspect into the Buckeyes’ offense, scoring eight points off the bench, including two 3s. But the Bison continued to pick at the Ohio State defense from deep, a defense that has failed to allow 40 points or more in a half this season prior to Saturday’s game. After Bucknell senior guard Kimball Mackenzie hit a 3 with 3:24 left in the half, the Bison chipped away Ohio State’s double-digit lead, taking the lead after sophomore guard Jimmy Sotos hit a 3 with 36 seconds left in the half, Bucknell’s first lead of the game. The hot Bucknell offense carried over into the second half as the Bison came out on a 9-2 run, taking advantage of a cool Ohio State offense that made only one of its first five field goal attempts. The Bisons led by as much as eight points in the second half. After freshman guard Luther Muhammad hit a jumper to lower the Buckeyes’ deficit to six points, Ohio State hit its next six attempts from the field. Woods hit two 3s, helping the Buckeyes to an 10-0 run, retaking its lead with 12:22 left in the game. Woods hit 3 of 6 shot attempts in the second half, including 2-of-2 from 3, finishing the game with 13 points in 27 minutes off the bench. Senior guard C.J. Jackson also stepped up, recording eight points, six rebounds and three assists in the second half. Jackson’s six assists were the most he has recorded in a game since March 2. After Sotos hit a jumper with 10:25 to go in the second half, Bucknell did not connect on another shot attempt until 2:33, connecting on two of its 17 field goal attempts. This was something that Holtmann and the coaching staff planned to adjust for the second half: creating pressure on the outside that he said was not there in the first 20 minutes of play. In the second half, Bucknell hit on three of 13 from deep. “We were pressing the ball more. We put more pressure on the ball, so they couldn’t make pinpoint passes to how they was in the first half,” Woods said. “Pressure on the ball and everybody rotating and actually closing out, it kind of stopped their rhythm a little bit.”  But Ohio State struggled offensively late as well, failing to record a field goal after Muhammad’s layup with 5:38 to go in the game. After Bucknell’s 13-4 run to end the game, bringing the Bison to within two points, Holtmann said he, as the head coach, has to place his players in a better position to succeed at the ends of halves. “It’s a little bit tricky when you are up with a 10-point lead and the other team’s kind of throwing in shots, but I have to do a better job of getting out guys finishing games better, not just making free throws, but our offensive possessions,” Holtmann said. With Bucknell’s game plan and what it does well, Holtmann felt that this could be a closer game. But he said Ohio State will define itself as it overcomes adversity, such as Saturday afternoon’s performance. “I think it’s a step. I don’t think we are there yet,” Holtmann said. “I did think we would play in a lot of close games this year and I thought this could be one. And I think that is when we will see leadership at its best.” No. 15 Ohio State will try and continue its winning streak at home against Youngstown State at 7 p.m on Tuesday. Updated with quotes from Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann and redshirt senior guard Keyshawn Woods at 3:13 p.m. read more

Read More »

Heatwave warning amid 30C temperatures as southern Britain sizzles in UK weather divide

first_imgThe heat has prompted PHE to urge people to take extra care during the hot days and warm nights.Public health medicine consultant, Dr Thom Waite said: “Now the heatwave has arrived, people will likely be out and about more enjoying the summer sun.”That’s why it’s really important to remember that there are some people whose health suffers in hot weather.”Older people, those with underlying health conditions and young children may all feel the ill-effects of heat over the coming days.”We’re urging everyone to keep an eye on those you know who may be at-risk this summer. If you’re able, ask if your friends, family or neighbours need any help.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Following heavy rain in North Yorkshire, water was sent gushing out onto nearby roads from White Scar Caves in Ingleton, in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.Video footage from the scene shows cars driving slowly through deep flood water coming from the attraction. Summer is making a reappearance for the south of England from Tuesday - while flooding will remain a risk in northern areas   A level two alert has been issued for London and the South East – meaning there is a 60 per cent chance the maximum threshold temperatures of 32C (89.6F) and 31C (87.8F) respectively could be met.Met Office meteorologist, Emma Sharples, said the temperatures are expected to be the highest in East Anglia and down to London – reaching up to 30C.Caused by “warm air pushing up from the continent”, the alerts cover from 12pm on Tuesday – where temperatures hit 29.7C (85.5F) in St James Park and 30C in Gravesend, Kent – to 9am on Friday. Summer is making a reappearance for the south of England from Tuesday – while flooding will remain a risk in northern areas  Credit:Daniel Leal-Olivas/Ben Birchall/PAcenter_img Britons have been urged to take extra care in the rising temperatures as a heatwave causes parts of the country to sizzle.With the mercury expected to hit 30C (86F) on Wednesday, Public Health England (PHE) has warned the most vulnerable, including older people, young children and babies, could be at risk.It comes as the Met Office issued a level three heatwave action alert for eastern England – triggered when threshold temperatures have been reached for one day and the night.The alert means there is a 90 per cent chance the maximum threshold temperature for the region, 30C in the East, will also be met the following day.However, a north-south divide means temperatures in northern cities will only reach the low 20s – with up to 21C expected in Edinburgh on Thursday and 20C in Belfast on Wednesday. It’s reached 30 °C at Gravesend! Satellite image shows quite a contrast in the weather today ☀️☁ pic.twitter.com/sjph9nf1Su— Met Office (@metoffice) August 23, 2016 Dr Waite said the hot weather can “put extra strain on bodies” and urged people to “stay hydrated” during the hot spell.Top PHE tips to keep cool include closing curtains, keeping out of the sun between 11am to 3pm, wearing loose fitting cotton clothes and applying suncream.As well as looking out for others during the heatwave, the body advised to not leave anyone or animals in a closed, parked vehicle. Ms Sharples said humid nights can also be expected – with London and the South East unlikely to drop below 20C (68F) on Tuesday and Wednesday.”As we head through this evening (Tuesday) and overnight the band of cloud in the north starts to spread its way further south and east,” said added.”There won’t be much rain left in it by the time it gets further south but it does mean the area of the country that will see cloud is bigger.”Parts of northern and central England, Wales – will be a lot cloudier, and as a result a bit cooler with temperatures in the low 20s (on Wednesday).”Whereas East Anglia and the south east again look like having a largely sunny day and quite warm again so we will be looking at similar temperatures.”last_img read more

Read More »

Network Rail to be stripped of control over Britains train tracks as

first_imgA Virgin spokesman said the company had increased the number of staff handling compensation by 80 per cent to process the payments.She said: “We apologise for the current wait that customers are experiencing when claiming delay repay. Due mostly to problems with the infrastructure that are outside of our control, there have been 70 per cent more claims than anticipated.”Who runs Britain’s trains and rail network?Britain’s railway network is run by Network Rail, a 100 per cent public-owned body after its predecessor Railtrack was nationalised in 1996.Its main “customers” are the privately owned train-operating companies that carry tens of millions of passengers around the UK ever year.Network Rail owns the infrastructure, including 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and tunnels and 2,500 stations.What is the problem?Network Rail is spending billions modernising the network and sometimes these works can over-run, which means that lines have to remain closed during busy periods.Commuters are infuriated by the delays and blame the train companies, which in turn blame Network Rail and have to seek compensation for any delays.What does the Government want to do?Chris Grayling, the transport secretary, is keen to introduce a “vertical model” on some lines which would allow train companies to have a say over the maintenance of the track.This could mean train operators being given a say over running sections of the network as new franchises are awarded by Mr Grayling, starting as soon as next year.Will it make a difference?Mr Grayling hopes so. When he was shadow transport secretary, he said that the “complete separation of track and train into separate businesses” was “not right for our railways”.The changes could eventually lead to cheaper fares and a more reliable train service for millions of commuters because Mr Grayling also blamed this separation of the train from the track for pushing up “the cost of running the railways – and hence fares – and has slowed decisions about capacity improvements”.  Mr Grayling is due to set out the proposals in a speech at Conservative think-tank Policy Exchange on Tuesday.The plans will alter key elements of the privatisation of British Rail by John Major’s Conservative government in the Nineties by giving train companies control over the tracks again.It will be a shot across the bows of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who has used a threat to renationalise the railways to win over the support of frustrated rail commuters in middle England.Mr Grayling spoke of his desire to give train operators control over the track when he was Tory front-bench transport spokesman a decade ago. The rail network’s structure dates from 1996 when John Major’s government sold off British Rail and put a new private company, Railtrack, in charge of the rail network.However, Railtrack collapsed in 2001, prompting a major political row when Stephen Byers, then the Labour transport secretary, said its private shareholders would not be compensated.Network Rail, which is 100 per cent owned by the taxpayer, was set up by the government to replace Railtrack with a £300 million of public money.Train operators have to rely on Network Rail for carrying out repairs.Network Rail also decides the duration of maintenance and when works will take place.Earlier this week, it emerged that Network Rail was responsible for more than half the delays on Scotland’s trains over the past year. He said he wanted Network Rail to be “a public-sector body that acts like a private business, with a clear focus on what customers want”.This week, Network Rail also warned of major works at busy London stations which could mean that the festive getaway is a misery for millions of people.Liverpool Street and London Bridge stations will be badly affected for most of the holiday period and many services will not run in and out of other mainline stations.Other modernisation work in the South Wales area will affect mainline services between Newport, Cardiff Central and Bridgend over the Christmas period.Ministers announced this week that more than 84,000 passengers on Southern Rail are to receive £15 million in compensation for disruption this year caused by strikes, “Network Rail track failures” and “engineering works”.  The Telegraph can also disclose that Virgin Rail compensation payouts to East Coast Main Line passengers have been delayed because of a 70 per cent jump in claims.Virgin admitted that nearly 25,000 travellers have been waiting for months for compensation for delays caused by Network Rail in September. Network Rail will be stripped of its control over Britain’s train tracks and power will be handed to operators in the biggest shake-up of the railways for decades, the Government is to announce.In an attempt to end delays and reduce fares, Chris Grayling, the Transport Secretary, will say he wants the publicly-owned Network Rail to share responsibility for running the tracks with private train operators.It means that rail companies such as Virgin and Southern would become responsible for repairs and maintenance for the first time, ending Network Rail’s monopoly.The Government hopes the change will incentivise train companies to complete repairs more quickly and possibly herald cheaper fares. The news comes as passengers prepare for more upheaval over Christmas, with passengers being told by Network Rail that they face a “crescendo” of maintenance work over the festive season.It was announced yesterday that rail fares will go up by an average of 2.3 per cent – more than twice the rate of inflation – from Jan 2. The proposal is due to be set out by Mr Grayling in a speech at a Conservative think tank Policy Exchange on Tuesday Chris Grayling is due to unveil the proposal in a speech at the Policy Exchange on TuesdayCredit:Julian Andrews Mr Grayling is understood to want to challenge Network Rail’s monopoly on repairing and upgrading tracks and signalling. One idea is to introduce “vertical integration” which would mean train companies having power over the running of their sections of the rail network when franchises are awarded.  Mr Grayling and the Department for Transport declined to comment.Earlier this week, Mark Carne, the chief executive of Network Rail, unveiled plans to “put the passenger at the core of everything we do” to deliver a more “reliable” railway.Mr Carne announced the creation of boards – with passenger representatives – to oversee the running of parts of the railway.center_img Currently Britain’s rail network is run by Network Rail Britain’s rail network is currently run by Network Rail We think, with hindsight, that the complete separation of track and train into separate businesses at the time of privatisation was not right for our railwaysMr Grayling The rail network’s structure dates from 1996 Credit:Dan Kitwood/Getty Images Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. He said then: “We think, with hindsight, that the complete separation of track and train into separate businesses at the time of privatisation was not right for our railways.  “The separation has helped push up the cost of running the railways – and hence fares – and has slowed decisions about capacity improvements.  “Too many people and organisations are now involved in getting things done – so nothing happens.”In publicity material sent out ahead of the speech, Policy Exchange said Mr Grayling’s vision will “put the passenger at its heart, ensuring that journeys are safe, quick, and provide value for money”.Currently, Britain’s rail network – which is run by Network Rail – and the trains that travel on it are run by completely separate companies. The rail network's structure dates from 1996 last_img read more

Read More »

Art amateur discovers earliest Gainsborough portrait while helping his son online

first_imgThe painting, of an unknown woman He told the Telegraph he had become involved in searching for misattributed paintings online thanks to his art restorer son, James, who trained at the Courtauld Institute and has previously worked with Philip Mould, known for his art discovery shows on television.”I’ve learnt a great deal from him and now I’m his extra pair of eyes,” said Mr Mulraine of his son.”It’s incredibly exciting to find any lost or miscatalogued pieces of art, so anything that I see that I think looks interesting I send an image to him.”Some months ago I saw this picture come up at auction of a young lady, attributed to circle of Arthur Devis, and I was so taken by the quality that I sent the image to James for his opinion.”He thought at first glance it had the look of Francis Hayman, but then he said there was definitely something special about it: that it was delicately drawn and that there was a light in the face evidence to him even after all of the years of yellow varnish. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The painting was originally suggested as a Francis Hayman, like these in a Mayfair galleryCredit:Paul Grover Thomas Gainsborough, a self-portrait Thomas Gainsborough, a self-portrait I’m just the apprenticeRobert Mulraine It is now to be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonne by Hugh Belsey, the art historian and world authority on Gainsborough, while will provide a confirmed list of every known painting by the artist in existence.Experts now believe the portrait, of an unknown woman, was painted by Gainsborough as a teenager, dating it to around 1742 when the young artist would have been honing his skills by capturing the great and good on canvas.Bought at auction for £2,600, it is now likely to sell for very many times that amount.The current record for a Gainsborough work stands at £6.5m, for the exceptional Portrait of Miss Read, Later Mrs William Villebois at Christie’s in 2011.Mr Mulraine said he hoped a museum may like to acquire the painting. “He thought it could well be an early Gainsborough. You can imagine we were quite excited.”The pair bought the painting at a small regional auction house a year ago, sending it for light cleaning before showing it to Mr Belsey in London.The author, who spent 23 years as curator at Gainsborough’s House in Sudbury, said he reserves “ a great deal of suspicion for things which arrive out of the blue” from over-enthusiastic collectors, admitting: “I seem to spend half my life saying no”.But he was so convinced by this painting that he will include it in his catalogue raisonné, serving to authenticate it to the art world.center_img The painting, of an unknown woman When browsing regional auction catalogues online, it is every buyer’s dream to discover a  hidden gem nestling among the thousands of unwanted old paintings, pieces of furniture and miscellany.Few can say they have reached the heights of unexpectedly stumbling across a Gainsborough portrait.And only one can claim he had discovered the earliest known painting by the British artist, created when he was just 15.Robert Mulraine, a retired company director, appears to have done just that, while he was browsing the auction market to help his art expert son as an “extra pair of eyes”.After spotting an image that intrigued him and securing it at auction with his son James, it has now been authenticated as being by a young Gainsborough. One of Gainsborough's most famous works,  Portrait of Miss Read, later Mrs William Villebois One of Gainsborough’s most famous works,  Portrait of Miss Read, later Mrs William Villebois “It’s very early, and it would therefore not be recognised as Gainsborough by everybody,” he said. “That’s why it’s exciting. It’s all part of the jigsaw, but there aren’t many pieces of the jigsaw at the moment.”The earliest known painting from Gainsborough so far, of a dog, is dated 1745, with Mr Belsey believing this was completed even earlier.“It has a certainty about it, an assurance and an extraordinary sense of observation that makes it seem entirely his hand,” he said. “The paint does have an extraordinary sparkle, which has been considered a characteristic of his work for quite some time.”No scientific analysis has yet been conducted, and the painting comes with no documentation linking it to Gainsborough.The last catalogue raissoné for Gainsborough was written in 1958, with around 700 portraits included.Mr Belsey’s 2017 publication is set to include more than 1,000, significantly expanding public understanding of the artist’s work.Mr Mulraine said: “I’m just the apprentice. It’s lovely finding things. The excitement is in finding these paintings, and what happens after that is another matter.” The painting was originally suggested as a Francis Hayman, like these in a Mayfair gallerylast_img read more

Read More »

Most important breast cancer drug in two decades will not get NHS

first_imgDr Nicholas Turner, from the Institute of Cancer Research, London, who was on the Nice panel, said: “Palbociclib is one of the most important advances in treating the most common type of breast cancer in 20 years.”Clinical trials show the drug can substantially slow the progression of the disease and help delay chemotherapy, which often has life-limiting side-effects.”It is very disappointing that palbociclib is not being made available to patients, but cost is the limiting factor.”If the manufacturer, Nice and NHS England can find a way of making this treatment available for patients, they will substantially improve the lives of patients with breast cancer.”Prof Paul Workman, chief executive of the ICR, said: “Rapid action is needed to ensure that exciting new treatments like palbociclib are priced at a level that allows them to be judged cost-effective.”People with cancer must be able to benefit from the academic research that helps lead to effective new treatments like this, which extend survival and improve quality of life.”Prof Carole Longson, director of the centre for health technology assessment at Nice, said: “The committee needs more evidence of the drug’s impact on overall survival of people with breast cancer.”However, even when allowing for these potential benefits, it was still not enough to make palbociclib cost effective at its current price.”The ruling is now open to  public consultation. Cancer cell A cancer cell: In the USA women are offered palbociclib A new  drug described as one of the “most important” advances in treating breast cancer in two decades will not be approved on the NHS, under rationing plans.Around 6,000 women a year, many with terminal disease, could benefit from palbociclib.The treatment has been  found to stall tumours by 10 months – almost twice as long as standard drugs.But the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) said the cost – at around £3,000 a month – was too high, and that clinical trials were unclear about whether the drug improved overall survival.Charities said the recommendation, in draft guidance, was “unacceptable”, proving that Britain’s drug appraisal system was “totally unfit for purpose”.They said the decision would devastate patients, especially those with incurable breast cancer, and called for urgent discussions with drugs manufacturers to cut the price of the drug.Experts said the case was particularly significant, because the treatment was the first in a new generation of drugs to be examined by Nice.They said treatments which could hold the key to an effective cure for cancer, were destined to fall foul of Nice’s processes, which compare innovative treatments with old generic drugs, which are cheap because they are now off-patent.In the last decade, just three drugs for breast cancer have been given the green light by Nice.The new treatment works by increasing the effect of other drugs, already doled out at a cost of just 20 pence a day.center_img Baroness Delyth Morgan, chief executive at Breast Cancer Now, said: “This is the clearest illustration to date that the drug appraisal system is totally unfit-for-purpose in assessing first-in-class breast cancer medicines.“For women with incurable breast cancer in England to potentially be made to wait years for such a promising drug – while NHS bodies and pharmaceutical companies haggle over pricing – would be totally unacceptable.”She said the drug could become the closest thing some breast cancer patients could get to a cure.Research presented at the world’s biggest cancer conference in Chicago last June showed that women taking palbociclib in combination with cheap aromatase inhibitors lived 10 months longer without disease spreading than than those on standard treatment.Typically, they enjoyed 24.8 months without their cancer progressing compared with 14.5 months for women on usual treatment. Some women had much better results.Palbociclib is licensed for women with breast cancer which is HER2 negative, oestrogen positive and has spread around the body.The Nice appraisal looked specifically at patients who had not been given any other treatment for advanced or metastatic cancer, with around 5,500 such cases annually. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Read More »

Prison security questioned as police find getaway car after murderer escapes during

first_imgPolice said the getaway car was parked in the Adlam Crescent area of Fazakerley from around noon on Tuesday with at least one man inside, before travelling to Aintree University Hospital where it was seen parked from around 1.25pm.It was found in the Adlam Crescent area at 8pm last night.At about 3.05pm, Walmsley escaped from his guards outside the Aintree hospital as they were leaving following the medical appointment.As they were getting into a car, two men threatened the prison officers and demanded they release him, before escaping in the gold-coloured Volvo. An entrance to Aintree University Hospital, close to where Shaun Colin Walmsley fled after two armed men ambushed the car he was inCredit:Peter Byrne/PA Police located the gold getaway car The Aintree University Hospital building in the Fazakerley area of Liverpool Police hunting a convicted murderer who was sprung from prison during a scheduled hospital visit have found the getaway car used in the escape.Shaun Walmsley, from Liverpool, escaped when two men armed with a knife and a gun confronted prison officers guarding him at Aintree University Hospital during a visit from the city’s HMP Walton on Tuesday afternoon.The three fled in a gold-coloured Volvo with the reg plate MW02 XHE.Detectives have found the car in the Fazakerley area of Liverpool and it is being forensically examined. Detectives are advising the public not to approach Walmsley if they see him.He is described as white, 6ft tall, slim build with dark brown hair and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing dark bottoms and a dark jacket.The man who was believed to be armed with a gun during the escape is described as having his face covered and was wearing white shoes, grey tracksuit bottoms with a stripe down each side, a grey hoody and a dark coat.The second man, who was believed to be armed with a knife, is described as having his face covered and was wearing a green coat, dark Nike trainers and grey tracksuit bottoms. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Hospital in Liverpool after the escape He also said his understanding is that the two prison officers and Walmsley turned up to the hospital appointment in a taxi, but that he is waiting for confirmation.”The issues are; how it has been allowed to happen, why there were only two guards for a category A prisoner, and why he was not in a secure vehicle, if that was the case?” he added.”Why is it the case he has been able to communicate with people outside, exactly when he was attending a hospital appointment – these are questions that all need to be asked.”For the people of this city it is an unacceptable breach and lapse of security and we are lucky that the officers were not challenged and the firearm was not discharged in that situation.” How it has been allowed to happen, why there were only two guards for a category A prisoner, and why he was not in a secure vehicle, if that was the case?Joe Anderson, Liverpool Mayor Labour’s Liverpool Mayor, Joe Anderson, said he is “angry and incredibly shocked” by the “serious security breach”, and is waiting for a full briefing into what happened.He said: “We have to call for an inquiry into what has gone on and what has happened – I am going to write to the Home Secretary.”He added: “This is somebody who is a convicted murderer who could well be in my city or anywhere else. We don’t know whether he has got out to be part of any drug disputes in the city.”Mr Anderson said it is a “tense time” in the city of Liverpool following recent murders and that to him it looks like Walmsley has been able to plan the escape well in advance. HM Prison Liverpool, where murderer Shaun Colin Walmsley was being heldCredit:Peter Byrne/PA Police located the gold getaway carCredit:PA A police car is parked outside Aintree University Hospital in Liverpool after the escapeCredit:Peter Byrne/PA Detective Superintendent Natalie Perischine, of Merseyside Police, said: “Following inquiries today we have managed to locate the last registered owner of the Volvo and he sold the car in a private transaction about two months ago.”The car was not re-registered. For the last two months that car has been stored somewhere, it could have been on a street, or in a garage, but someone may have seen it.”It is a very distinctive gold Volvo with silver alloys and we don’t believe that the offenders have used cloned plates.”So if you have seen this car parked up on your street, or being driven in your area, please contact us as information you have could help us identify those involved in the incident yesterday.”She added: “As I have previously stated, Shaun Walmsley and the two others involved in the incident yesterday are dangerous individuals and we will be relentless in our pursuit of them.”We have put significant resources into this investigation to put Walmsley back behind bars and officers and staff are working hard with other forces, the National Crime Agency and other forces and agencies on the continent in a bid to trace him.” The mayor of Liverpool has called for an “immediate inquiry” and Liverpool Walton MP, Steve Rotheram has written to the Home Secretary to demand an explanation as to what happened. The Aintree University Hospital building in the Fazakerley area of LiverpoolCredit:Dave Thompson/PA HM Prison Liverpool where murderer Shaun Colin Walmsley was being held An entrance to Aintree University Hospital, close to where Shaun Colin Walmsley fled after two armed men ambushed the car he was inlast_img read more

Read More »

High Court to rule on Christian student declared unfit to practice as

first_img“The views expressed are likely to undermine the trust and confidence that lesbian, gay and bisexual clients are entitled to have in his professional role as a social worker (and in the social work profession more widely).”She added that the problem was not that Mr Ngole held such views, but the manner in which he had expressed them.Ms Hannett said a university “fitness to practise” committee had decided to exclude Mr Ngole in early 2016 and that decision had been upheld by an appeals committee. Barrister Sarah Hannett, representing the university, said that Mr Ngole “posted comments on a publicly accessible Facebook page that were derogatory of lesbians, gay men and bisexuals. The High Court will rule on whether Christians who express “traditional” views on homosexuality can be barred from gaining professional qualifications after a social work student won the right to challenge his expulsion.Felix Ngole, 39, was removed from a two-year MA course at Sheffield University in February last year after saying during a Facebook debate that “the Bible and God identify homosexuality as a sin”.  He received permission to mount a judicial review in a preliminary hearing at the High Court. The full case will be heard later this year.He is thought to be the first claimant to challenge a decision which barred him from a profession because his religious beliefs made him “unfit to practice”. Mr Ngole, who also worked as a religious education teacher, argued that he had been unfairly stopped from completing his degree. His case is backed by the Christian Legal Centre, part of campaign group Christian Concern. Chief executive Andrea Minichiello Williams said the result was a victory for free speech. She said: “The idea that someone could be expelled from a social work course for expressing a view in a Facebook post and then declared not fit to practice is very detrimental to free speech. “Students with orthodox Christian views are being told that they aren’t fit to practice. “For religious people who believe now what most people used to believe, it can be a bar to office.”Lawyers said the case could affect other professionals barred from gaining work or qualifications because of their religious views.center_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Read More »

Zoo keeper killed by tiger died of traumatic injuries inquest hears

first_imgCarnivore Keeper Rosa King with the tigers at Hamerton Zoo Park A zookeeper killed by a tiger died of traumatic injuries and was formally identified by her employer, an inquest has heard.Rosa King, 33, died at Hamerton Zoo Park in Cambridgeshire in what was described as a “freak accident”.Senior coroner David Heming extended his sympathies to her parents, Peter and Andrea, and members of her wider family as he opened and adjourned an inquest hearing at Cambridgeshire Coroner’s Court in Huntingdon on Wednesday.Ms King died at the zoo on May 29 and her body was formally identified to police at 3pm by her employer, Andrew Swales, who had known her for 15 years. Show more A Cambridgeshire Police spokesman said officers were called to reports of a serious incident at the zoo at 11.15am and that a tiger had entered an enclosure with a keeper. Carnivore Keeper Rosa King with the tigers at Hamerton Zoo ParkCredit:Peterborough Tel / SWNS.com Ms King’s family said she “lived and breathed a vocation that meant the world to her”Credit:Cambridgeshire Police /PA Wirecenter_img Police are not treating the incident as suspicious, and a joint investigation with Huntingdonshire District Council is continuing.Zoo bosses have said the tiger will not be put down and that this decision was “fully supported” by the keeper’s relatives.Following her death, Ms King’s family said she “lived and breathed a vocation that meant the world to her”. Ms King's family said she "lived and breathed a vocation that meant the world to her" A post-mortem examination recorded the medical cause of death as traumatic injuries.”There’s an ongoing investigation into the circumstances of how the tiger came into direct contact with Rosa,” Mr Heming said. “This investigation will take some time to complete.”Given that this was a workplace incident, this will necessitate a jury inquest.”October 23 for a pre-inquest review.”If the investigation is completed prior to that date the inquest may be brought forward,” said Mr Heming. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Read More »

Grenfell fraudsters lived in luxury hotels at taxpayers expense for nearly a

Both said they were residing in flat 91 on the 19th floor – flat 91 is actually on the 12th floorprosecutor Benjamin Holt Brooks also started off at the Radisson Blu before being moved to another hotel. He spent 243 nights in hotel accommodation, costing RBKC more than £49,000.He racked up a room service bill of £276 and charges of £9,000 on a pre-paid credit card, and was also given an Oyster card. Two illegal immigrants who posed as victims of the Grenfell Tower fire were put up in hotels funded by the taxpayer for almost a year.Elaine Douglas and Tommy Brooks, who are Jamaican, falsely claimed more than £100,000 in accommodation and pre-paid credit cards before staff at the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea realised the flat they claimed to live in did not exist.The pair, both 51, also tried to take advantage of a scheme allowing residents of the tower leave to remain in the country for at least five years in case fears over immigration status prevented victims coming forward.Douglas was housed in the Radisson Blu in Kensington for 276 nights at a cost of just over £55,000 to the council, as well running up a room service bill of £267.After complaining about the food in the hotel, she was given a pre-paid credit card, running up charges of more than £11,000. She was also handed a pre-paid Oyster card so she could travel for free.  In total, he claimed £58,396 in relief intended to help the victims of the fire, while Douglas claimed £67,123.On Wednesday, both defendants – of no fixed address – pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud by false representation and one count of obtaining leave to remain in the UK by deception at Isleworth Crown Court.The offences took place between August last year until their arrest on May 2 this year. Judge Robin Johnson adjourned sentence until June 13 – almost a year since the disaster – to allow time for Brooks to be legally represented.Seventy-one people died in the fire on June 14 last year, including an unborn baby.Members of the victims’ families were seated in the public gallery to watch Brooks and Douglas’s case.The defendants were remanded in custody until sentence. Prosecutor Benjamin Holt said: “The defendants both claimed to have been together in the fire. Both said they were residing in flat 91 on the 19th floor – flat 91 is actually on the 12th floor.”Mr Holt told the court both had managed to avoid immigration authorities for 16 years after entering the UK illegally in the early 2000s.”Following the fire at Grenfell Tower the Government introduced a policy to allow those with insecure immigration status that had lost their homes to regulate their situation,” he said. “They were granted leave to remain for 12 months and that was later extended to five years.”On February 22 2002 Ms Douglas was refused leave to enter the UK and a flight back to Jamaica was booked for February 24. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. “She was deemed too ill to travel and a flight was rebooked for March 8 of the same year. She did not attend for that flight and nothing has been heard of her in the intervening 16 years.”Mr Brooks arrived on August 11 2001 and was granted leave to remain until September 9 of that year.”He applied for leave to remain and that was granted until February 2002, and in the intervening years nothing was heard of him.” read more

Read More »